BALTIMORE (AP) — Since Gov. Larry Hogan instituted a state of emergency in March 2020, it’s been renewed 18 times, roughly once per month.

But the state of emergency is set to expire Sunday.

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“Now is not the time to end the state of emergency,” said Del. Eric Luedtke, a Montgomery County Democrat.

Luedtke is one of six state delegates who sent a letter to the governor, asking him to extend it.

“Without that state of emergency, it’s much harder for the government to respond to the rise of the Delta variant,” Luedtke said.

Hogan spokesman Mike Ricci responded by saying the state of emergency was no longer necessary.

“Maryland is much better prepared to withstand the Delta variant surge, our hospitals remain well within their capacities, and our health metrics are among the lowest in the country,” Ricci said in a statement.

“Just because we’re not doing as bad as Alabama and Florida doesn’t mean we’re outta the woods,” replied Luedtke to Ricci’s statement.

For the second day in a row, Maryland reported over 1,000 new infections on Saturday as the highly contagious Delta variant spread.

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“We know that this is a race: vaccine versus variant, and we can only win if we can do it together,” said Howard County Executive Calvin Ball.

His county is the latest to announce a mask mandate in all county buildings starting this weekend, hoping to set an example for other businesses. On Thursday, Baltimore County did the same.

As Maryland moves closer to 60% of its population fully vaccinated, there’s a push to make the vaccination process even more convenient.

It took the ease and convenience of a MedStar mobile clinic for Cruz Elliott to get her shot Saturday morning.

“I thought it was gonna take a long time but it only took a second,” Elliott said.

Mobile vaccination teams in Baltimore City are now going door-to-door, visiting homes where an appointment is made.

“It’s more convenient, it’s a click of the button and just like that you can make it happen,” said Baltimore City resident Haneef Hardy.

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On Saturday morning, a group of five delegates sent a letter to Hogan asking him to extend an order that assists roughly 120,000 Maryland renters behind on rent. WJZ has reached out to the governor’s office for a response.

Annie Rose Ramos